It has been a rich and paradoxical week. Last Tuesday and Wednesday I was working in Ulster with a group of educators and projects involved in conflict resolution and community building. These were frontline big-hearted men and women, heroic – and I was proud to be working with them as they looked at their next steps for the coming months and years.
At the beginning of the seminar I commented to them that I came from and was grateful for the peaceful land in which I lived – in Glastonbury in sleepy rolling Somerset. But I am also a Londoner and as I prepared to leave the hotel where we had been working – next to the Giants Causeway on the north west coast of Ireland – people were listening to the news as the first broadcasts about the London bombings came in. I winced. London is my home city and, living there, I had heard 5 bombs explode over the years. I knew the implications. And there was extra irony because it came so directly after the celebrations of winning the Olympics bid.
As timing would have it, I came up to London the next day, on the Friday after the bombings, to teach a course over the weekend and the hotel in which I stayed, a small Quaker house, the Penn Club, was right next to Russell Square where the main underground outrage took place. In the immediate vicinity, no cars were allowed, only pedestrians. It was very quiet, peaceful above ground, except for the drone of occasional portable generators, powering the satelite broadcasting equipment for international media reports.
That evening and on Saturday morning I went into deep meditation and prayer, and opened my awareness to the tragedy that was so physically close. I began to do a particular meditation practice, which I had done for many years when I lived in central London. In this practice, which comes from many traditions, you allow your awareness to scan for people who have recently died and are still earth-bound, unable to find their way across into what is called the ‘clear light’. You then magnetically draw them towards you with warmth and understanding, at the same time creating a connection, a passageway, across into the light. (There is a fuller description of this on my website, under articles and practical help.)
I am writing this, I suppose, partly to reassure people that I and many others work in this way when there is tragedy and disaster. Also to encourage you to do similar work if you have a calling for it.
I took my awareness down into the underground and into the carriages that had been destroyed. I have never previously experienced such compressed confusion and chaos. There was of course the sheer carnage from the explosion, but the physical results were constrained to the carriages and tunnel. People’s energy and consciousness, however, were pushed out beyond the immediate scene, out into the tunnel and into the surrounding earth. There were several souls in a daze, in a trance, caught bewildered in the substance of the earth.
Because of the compression and confusion it was difficult for me to create a magnetism and light that could attract the attention of these lost ghosts. For many decades, however, I have been mapping the earth energies and leys of London, and also meditating with what I call the Angel of London. I asked, then, whether I could cooperate with them and together we began to create an energetic scenario that would help the recently deceased. We created a very wide crater or bowl, 300 metres across, deep in the ground beneath the disaster and then began both to lift it up and open it to the flow and energy of the sky and sun. Atmospherically it felt as if the disaster area was no longer compacted and under ground. It was more like a green, meadowed, high mountain valley. In this new resonance it was easy to attract the attention of the deceased and facilitate their transfer of consciousness across into the after-death dimension. At one point I also felt a small swarm of dazed rats passing through my field and across into the light.
I did this meditation work over those two days fully aware of the many others, locally and globally, who were also praying and present. I felt particularly proud and touched by the multifaith group that gathered around Aldgate station – Jews, Muslims, Christians and Hindus – to demonstrate solidarity in the face of this crisis. I also fully understand that some people reading all this may think I was just fooling myself with projection and imagination, doing anything that would bring me comfort. I admit the possibility of that. I would also ask the cynics to be open to the possibility that the practices of the greatest meditation and tribal traditions also have some validity.
On that same Friday when I had come up to London, I had done the school run in the afternoon and picked up my 11-year old daughter from her small village school. Like the other children in her class she was carrying a large brown envelope which contained her school report and her Sats results. She had done very well and her headteacher had written in the report that if she could bottle essence of my daughter and distribute it, that would help heal the world. I was proud and I wept. Then I came up to London.
Whatever the tragedy, injustice and cruelty, there is always new life. There are always the new children emerging with innocence and beauty.